9 Sep 2016

9 Sep 2016



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Installment 10: Matt’s New Year Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution: The Triple 7 Rule

Was your inbox jammed like mine, with emails from people telling you about the best way to stick to a New Years Resolution? I don’t normally make the annual life improving resolution, as I am hopeless at keeping them. That’s because most resolutions I make are totally unrealistic and unsustainable to maintain for the year! My most successful resolution so far is refraining from eating chocolate post-Christmas until the commencement of Easter where I reward myself by eating all the kid’s chocolate. Unfortunately, I tend to stay “off the wagon” and gorge on chocolate until Christmas rolls around again seven months later.

So, when I read an article from the team at strengthmatters.com about the Triple 7 Rule , it resonated with me in its simplicity and furthermore it sparked the decision to commit to it as resolution for 2019.

Here is the link to the article https://strengthmatters.com/wws-the-secret-weight-loss-formula-so-simple-you-dont-do-it/?inf_contact_key=7d7633ca8ee4a68c2274fa22664ea558f596450afd2d869dddded45f8bbc0f11

Before I tell you what it is I want to tell you why I was so motivated to make a commitment. Any behavioral changes we make to better ourselves need to be realistic and attainable and importantly becomes a habit practiced everyday so that the changes become lasting. What is important is the type of habit you are practicing. As explained in the Strength Matters article, 40% of a person’s daily life compromises of indiviudalised habits unique to that person. That’s a serious amount of time accounted for by the small decisions we all make on a given day. So, you really hope your daily habits are good so that they can make a positive impact on your daily life! Will Durant’s quote runs true and highlights the importance of implementing good habitual daily routines.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -Will Durant

So, after reading about the Triple 7 Rule I knew that what was outlined in the article was realistic, attainable and furthermore I could see how I could make these three rules a lasting habit in my life.

The Triple 7 Rule is my New Year’s Resolution and here it is:

Walk-  7000 steps per day

Water- Drink 7 cups of water per day

Sleep-  Sleep 7 hours per day.

Let’s explain the Triple 7 Rule a bit more:

Walking 7000 per day:

The human species evolved to facilitate efficient walking so that our early ancestors became successful hunters and gathers. Furthermore, their physiology adapted to the need to walk greater distances to gather food. This adaption for travelling great distances on foot sets us apart our other close species such as the Gorilla. But this adaption has resulted in the need for humans to move to survive. Recent finding show that humans need to move to stay health and if we don’t move often we become more at risk of diseases. In fact, research shows that walking under 5000 steps per day can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. This can be reversed by walking above 6000 Steps per day. So, there you have it: Walk 7000 Steps per day to be on the safe side.

Drink 7 Cups of Water per day.

I know I don’t drink enough water. So, to put a number on it gives me a target to aim for. I am a big coffee drinker and will have 4-5 cups per day. I was finding that I was crashing with low energy in the afternoon and so would make another brew I was also complaining of a dry eyes and mouth, which is not great when you are practicing as a physio and need to see and talk to the patient. As we all know drinking helps with keeping the body hydrated and in turn keeps all the internal body systems running smoothly. So, water bottle it is then.

Sleep 7 hours per day.

From a physiotherapy perspective sleep has become an important factor in the recovery of sporting injuries. Sleep is the body’s opportunity to heal and repair itself. In fact, a recent study showed that high trained athletes who had less than 8 hours sleep were 1.4 times more likely to suffer an injury than those who had 8 or more hours sleep. The people at Strength Matters recommend at least 7 hours. I am hoping 7 hours sleep will also give my brain a chance to regenerate and recover from the rigors of work and life so that I can handle all that a new day will throw at me.

How’s it going so far you say?

Well I haven’t been tempted to go on a Lime Scooter yet ( as it will reduce my step count!) but I have been needing to go to the toilet more. Interestingly, I haven’t had the afternoon energy crash and I can see how easy it will be stay up later than you need to and eat into that 7-hour sleep window. I am thinking I need to wind down earlier in the evening so I can get to sleep at a good hour. So, after 2 days things are going well and I am looking forward to seeing where this takes me. Just another 363 days to go!!

You can read the full article from Strength Matters here.

WWS: The Secret Weight Loss Formula So Simple, You Don’t Do It.

Installment 9: Matt gets the chop for Ronald McDonald House 

Last week we  raised money for Ronald McDonald House. Matt agreed to let Dawn shave his head in return for donations from our great patients.


Overall we raised over $700 for Ronald McDonald House Auckland (RMHA). RMHA played a significant role in caring for the wellbeing of both Karl’s daughter and Dawns granddaughter. They both are forever grateful for the service that RMHA gave and were happy to raise funds for this organisation

Installment 8: And Then There Were Six. 

Team photo 1

We are excited in welcoming Thomas Wardhaugh to the Recovery Room Physiotherapy team. Thomas is enthusiastic about helping people recovering for injury. He brings experience in acute on-field management through his time with various sporting organisations.

Thomas spent his teenage years as a competitive swimmer and waterpolo player. These experiences help him understand the intricacies of shoulder pain associated with swimmers and waterpolo athletes.

He is looking forward to being a part of the Recovery Room team and getting to know our great community of people we look after.

Installment 7: Jenna Ellis Dynamic Health Massage Therapy

Our team caught up with Jenna Ellis from Dynamic Health Massage Therapy recently. It was great to meet Jenna, who has opened her clinic in the Savoy building. registered member of Massage NZ. Jenna holds a Diploma in Advanced Therapeutic Massage (level 6) and a Certificate in Stress Management and Spa Therapies. She is extremely passionate about human anatomy and physiology and works with her clients to release pain and tension throughout the body. It was good for the team at Recovery Room Physiotherapy to be able to discuss different types of soft tissue release techniques with Jenna. We wish her all the success with her new venture and look forward to working with her and her patients in the future. 


Installment 6:Pilates rehab available at Recovery Room Physiotherapy

Staff Physio Claire Hepperlin has had seven years experience working as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist. After graduating from Otago University she moved to Australia where she worked in clinics specialising in  injury rehabilitation using gym and Pilates based rehabilitation. Claire is passionate about helping her clients and is excited about the new opportunity of bringing her Pilates expertise to help her clients recover from new injuries or day to day aches and pains. Claire will have access to Lucy Warren Pilates Studio that will enable her clients to use state of the art pilates equipment. If you are interested in using Pilates based exercise to help recover from aches and pains please don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can find all our details at http://www.recoveryroom.co.nz
Outside the physio clinic you can find Claire trying to catch as many waves a possible at Dunedin’s fine beaches as well as playing as many social sports as possible within a week!!


Installment 5: Two New Physiotherapists Join Recovery Room Physiotherapy

Claire Hepperlin B. Phty (Otago) Clinical Pilates Instructor

Claire Hepperlin
B. Phty (Otago)
Clinical Pilates Instructor

Claire Hepperlin returns to Dunedin after spending 6 and a half years working in Sydney. Claire is a passionate and experienced Physiotherapist. She enjoys returning her clients back to the sports field or activities of daily life pain free. She believes that we live in a society where getting enough exercise is more important than ever. Furthermore exercise is not just a hobby but essential to an individual’s lifestyle, mental wellness and can even sometimes influence income potential. Bearing this in mind Claire likes to keep her clients as active as possible (and as comfortable as possible) whilst they go through their rehabilitation with the aim of returning to activities as soon as physically and mentally possible. 
Claire graduated from Otago University in 2009 and over that time developed a special interest in exercise prescription for rehabilitation (including post- operative). She has spent a lot of time working with personal trainers and athletes in gyms and enjoys making or adjusting clients training programes for injury prevention and rehabilitation so each person can get as much as possible out of each training session. She is also trained in APPI Pilates and enjoys sharing her knowledge and skills with clients who need Pilates based rehabilitation. Claire has spent a lot of time working with children and teenagers as well as the adult population. During her time in Australia Claire worked with multiple soccer teams, surfers, Rugby Union, Crossfit athletes and AFL players. She is trained in Kinesio taping and Dry Needling. This year Claire looks forward to looking after the University of Otago Rugby Colts and working with the Basketball, Athletics and Soccer teams at Otago Boys High School.

Alex Gough B. Phty (Otago)

Alex Gough
B. Phty (Otago)

Alex Gough is the newest member of the Recovery Room Physiotherapy team. Alex is beginning a new career in physiotherapy after retiring from 12 years of professional rugby in Japan, to spend more time with his young family in Dunedin. Health has been a large part of Alex’s life, and he appreciates the importance of quality medical advice and intervention. Alex is interested in sports physiotherapy, and has a background in cricket as well as rugby. He has a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Otago and expertise in rehabilitation of sports injuries after being in a professional sporting environment for over a decade. Outside of physiotherapy, Alex enjoys fishing and the outdoors, and is able to speak Japanese to a reasonably high level.

Installment 4: We Have Moved!

We are excited to announce that Recovery Recovery Room Physiotherapy has moved! You can now find Karl and Matt at 55 Crawford Street in the Warehouse Precinct near Vogel Street Kitchen Restaurant and Cafe.

Recovery Room Moved to Crawford Street            Grab a coffee

When you visit or ring you will talk to our lovely clinic administrator Dawn who will be able to help you. Our new contact details are 55 Crawford St, 03 4770996 (Ph) and email info@recoveryroom.co.nz


With school starting so too does a child’s participation in sports such as athletics and team sports in the form of cricket and soccer. Pupils are now practicing before and after school so that the team and individual can perform to the best of the ability. What we know is that high school aged children face a number of unique factors that make them a high risk of picking up injuries.

Factors that increase the risk of injury in school aged kids include;

  1. Overloading a growing body system ( Too much training and doing the same type of training)
  2. Not recovering adequately from training ( Sleep & rest days)
  3. Movement dysfunction ( poor biomechanics resulting in stress overload of joints and muscles)

At the recent SPRINZ conference Dr. Jon Oliver explained that as growth rates peak around the age of 14 and so too does the rate of growth related injuries such as patella tendonosis (Jumpers Knee) and stress fractures. Therefore students around the age of 14 are at their peak of the growing cycle and at the same time increasing their loading on their body. 

Dr. Jon Oliver advocates correcting movement dysfunction and focussing the young athlete on becoming competent in basic movement patterns. He supports the mastering of basic movement patterns that help  reduce stress and overload on the body that reduce the rate of injury. The key idea is master the movement before loading the body.


Matt & Karl

Today we caught up with two past graduates of Otago University Matt Carrington and Karl Houltham. Both, studied together and graduated in 2008. Their field of study Physiotherapy and Physical Education.! The duo spent a few years working for other private practices and pursuing their own sporting careers. After linking back up together to work at Consultancy House the two decided it was about time they went out and started their own practice together. Both share the same philosophy of what they wanted to create and what their focus would be. The two wanted to place a strong emphasis on ‘return to play‘ and focus on good rehab and post-op rehab. More importantly, do things a little bit differently by wanting to change the experience. Historically, patients experience relatively short appointment times something Karl suggested “seems to be a bit of a treadmill.” What Karl and Matt set out to change employing a patient centred focus, giving patients longer appointment times.


Starting any new business can be a daunting task. But, the way the Recovery Room started is a great display of businesses in Dunedin working collaboratively. Buying into her vision to create a group of people practicing in town. Creating a collective including a chiropractor, physiotherapists, massage therapist, personal trainers and a naturopath. Dr. Cameron being the driving force behind the idea the duo saw a great opportunity to be a part of the group and saw an opportunity to be able to go out on their own. Not to mention, being very excited about the idea of the space they were in and what they could create together.


The process has been a big learning curve for both Matt and Karl. However, they are pretty proud of what they have achieved to date and are still focussed on growing their business and getting their name out there. One of the big challenges they acknowledged. Raising the awareness of who they are and what they do. Furthermore, raising the profile of the collective they work within.

If you are looking for physiotherapists at the top of their game then Matt and Karl definitely fit that description. Both have extensive experience in the industry. Matt was a professional rugby player who experienced first hand what is required in caring for top athletes. Likewise, Karl understands the needs of professional athletes. Currently, he has the assistant physiotherapist role for the Otago Highlanders. Although, both understand the world of professional sports and that it is everyone’s dream to be working in the top tier of their industry they did not want to forget about the grass roots. The two have made a big effort to focus on youth athletes, identifying that there is a bit of a loss in service provision in that area. The hope being that they can help such athletes meet their true potential and educate them on the importance of caring for their health. Matt currently volunteers his time to look after the Otago Boys 1st XV. Whereas, Karl takes the time to look after the Kings 1st XV.

Both Matt and Karl are very determined to make their business successful while staying true to what they have set out to achieve. The two are very passionate about Dunedin and are proud to call this place home. The support they have received to date has been great and they are pretty stoked to be part of the exchange end of towns revival. Something they believe is amazing for the city. To see old buildings being renovated and spaces being utilised well.

The Recovery Room is open to everyone, not just athletes. They cater to anyone in need of rehabilitation or even better preventative treatments. If you are looking for a quality service where you the patient is the centre of attention then you should definitely pay Matt and Karl a visit. I assure you they will go the extra distance to make sure your health is put first and as mentioned earlier they will take the time to make sure your visit is worthwhile.
Check out the Recovery Room online at recoveryroom.co.nz. Give them a call on (03) 4770996 or email them at info@recoveryroom.co.nz. Better yet, drop in and say hello at their recently renovated space on the ground floor, 205 Princes Street. (Please note that Recovery Room Physiotherapy has moved to 55 Crawford St). Look for the new cafe ‘The Fix’ and enjoy a great coffee in the foyer while waiting for your appointment!!
Article by Joshua Jeffery www.insidersdunedin.co.nz. The article can be found at http://www.insidersdunedin.co.nz/business-insider/2014/7/8/recovery-room-physiotherapy

55 Crawford St.
P: (03) 4770994 E: info@recoveryroom.co.nz

INSTALMENT 1: Strategies for lower back pain 

Acute lower back pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint that GPs see in their clinic. Acute lower back pain is described as lower back pain that lasts less than 3 months. Usually, a person that suffers from acute lower back pain will experience symptoms for a couple of weeks or up to a month. Whats worrying is that up to 40% of people that suffer from acute lower back pain will experience a re-occurance of their pain within a year.

So what can you do to recover from acute lower back pain? 

What we know is that it is difficult to accurately diagnose the specific structures that are injured when assessing a patient with acute lower back pain. But whats important is that a person who experiences lower back pain should get a proper clinical assessment so that any red flags can be identified for referral for further investigations. As physiotherapists we use an assessment protocol that identify red flags but also try to establish any specific movements or exercises that can reduce acute lower back pain symptoms. We also look at specific muscular structures that can be contributing to the pain and use techniques like acupuncture, massage and joint manipulation to  release any tight or constricted muscular or joint structures.

Overall physiotherapists play an important role in the management of a person’s acute lower back pain. We can be the first point of call for people who suffer from pain as we can perform a detailed clinical assessment and treatment management plan. Doctor Mike Evans explains his philosophy on acute lower back pain in this You Tube Video Doctor Mike Evans management of Acute Lower Back Pain. In this video Doctor Evans describes physiotherapists as an integral part of the management team that can perform active therapy to alleviate acute lower back pain. At Recovery Room Physiotherapy Karl and Matt have undertaken post graduate studies in spinal manipulation, spinal movement assessment and tailored exercise intervention to help with lower back rehabilitation.


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